YESTERDAYS WITH AUTHORS
BY JAMES T. FIELDS
"Was it not yesterday we spoke together?" --SHAKESPEARE.
BOSTON AND NEW YORK,
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY,
The Riverside Press Cambridge.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, BY JAMES T. FIELDS, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Copyright, 1899, BY ANNIE FIELDS.
All rights reserved
TO MY FELLOW-MEMBERS
OF THE SATURDAY CLUB
- I. INTRODUCTORY . . . . . . . . 1
- II. THACKERAY . . . . . . . . 11
- III. HAWTHORNE . . . . . . . . . 39[in 5 parts: one, two, three, four, and five]
- IV. DICKENS . . . . . . . . . 125
- V. WORDSWORTH . . . . . . . . . 251
- VI. MISS MITFORD . . . . . . . . 261
- VII. "BARRY CORNWALL" AND SOME OF HIS FRIENDS . , 353
"Some there are,
By their good works exalted, lofty minds
And meditative, authors of delight
And happiness, which to the end of time
Will live, and spread, and kindle."
SURROUNDED by the portraits of those I have long counted my friends, I like to chat with the people about me concerning these pictures, my companions on the wall, and the men and women they represent. These are my assembled guests, who dropped in years ago and stayed with me, without the form of invitation or demand on my time or thought. They are my eloquent silent partners for life, and I trust they will dwell here as long us I do. Some of them I have known intimately; several of them lived in other times; but they are all my friends and associates in a certain sense.
To converse with them and of them--"When to the sessions of sweet silent thoughtis one of the delights of existence, and I am never tired of answering questions about them, or gossiping of my own free will as to their every-day life and manners.
I summon up remembrance of things past"--
If I were to call the little collection in this diminutive house a Gallery of Pictures, in the usual sense of that title, many would smile and remind me of what Foote said with his characteristic sharpness of David Garrick, when he joined his brother Peter in the wine trade: " Davy lived with three quarts of vinegar in the cellar, calling himself a wine merchant."
My friends have often heard me in my "garrulous old age" discourse of things past and gone, and know what they bring down on their heads when they request me "to run over," as they call it, the faces looking out upon us from these plain unvarnished frames.
....[the rest of the Introduction is devoted to the 18th century English author Alexander Pope. We could not resist republishing here the second chapter, on Thackeray, even though Hawthorne is not mentioned, since it contains so many priceless literary anecdotes. (May we point out the amazing fact that the Boston Public Library copy of this book had many uncut pages, after more than 90 years on the shelf, so evidently many people have not been able to read it?!) But if you don't have the time to enjoy it, skip to Chapter 3, Hawthorne, which is so long we had to divide it into five parts.]...